Tasting Notes for Chisato

(69 notes on 68 wines)

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Red
11/3/2014 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
A full bottle ordered (bottle number 123 - I think the total number of bottles produced were 2,800) during dinner at Eleven Madison Park, NYC. Not decanted.

Needed 20 min or so to wake up in the glass. Initially a bit high on the acidity side but gradually found its balance in my glass at the 40 min mark. No bricking and a deep garnet hue which shows good storage for a premier cru at 31 years of age. Nose was a mixture of morning dew, strawberries with floral notes. A hint of earth and some secondary nuances of blueberries and wet forest wood were also detected. A wonderful experience as I am a fan of Aux Brulees (one of my favorite Vosne Romanee premier crus) let alone from this domaine in which I believe this was the second vintage by the late Philippe Engel which was sold under the domaine label. I think while most people claim that this vintage was amongst those from the darker years of the domaine, it can be said that it is best to taste a well-stored bottle yourself before arriving at any conclusion, more so for a domaine as reputed as Rene Engel.
White
11/5/2014 - Chisato wrote:
91 points
A half bottle earlier this evening during dinner with wife @ Daniel Boulud. Not decanted.

Mature color (golden yellow) and nose (lots of wax, honey and herbs) and apparent mature Marsanne profile. Started to blossom after 5 min in the glass. Tannins resolved and fully dissipated after about 30 min. Held up well throughout most of the course of the tasting menu but not much evolution during this time and the wine is showing its age as it started to decline after less than 2 hours or so in glass. For a 375ml bottle, drink up soon!
White
6/21/2014 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
A 750ml bottle ordered here in Le Bristol, Paris

Popped and poured during the afternoon tea session. Bright golden color that looks young for a 6 yr old village.

Lemon zest mixed with limestone and minerals oozing on the nose. But the nose gradually closed down after about 15 min. From the nose I think it is starting to wake up from its sleep and it offers a medley of beeswax, wetstones, citrus fruit and green herbs on the palate. A bit primary after about 30 min after opening. Good potential as I would wait a year or two before opening another bottle. Excellent companion to the afternoon tea set here though I must emphasize.
Red
4/9/2012 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Purchased 2 cases of this at a price of around USD11 per bottle. Based on my tasting notes over a dozen bottles over the past 6 months this wine certainly performs at (if not above) its Bourgogne AOC status and is a good food wine to go with most simple dishes (I even tried it with woodoven pizza!). Good primary fruits and rasberry notes with a hint of burned wood / scorched earth though I sense the acidity is a bit dominant. A "classic" style of Bourgogne
White
4/28/2012 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
Ordered at Robuchon au Dome in Macau during dinner as recommended by the sommelier Mathieu Gaignon.

No formal notes taken but I recall that the color was mature (bright yellow) and the nose was a blast (loads of minerals, oil, coconut, floral spice and some wax). Palate showed a profile typical of a maturing Leflaive premier cru loaded with secondary nuances including wet stones, minerals, limestone and some citrus notes. Good balance and the finish was long
White
5/8/2012 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Ordered a bottle at La Lucciola in Seminyak, Bali right before sunset! A blend of 95% Marsanne 5% Rousanne according to official records from Guigal's site.

Light yellow color with a whiff of honey, melon, sous bois and some hay on the nose oozing out during the first few minutes after pouring. In the palate good acidity and balance with the fruits, showing subtle floral flavors and some honey with a hint of pear cider. Little to no presence of oak detected (12 months partly in oak according to Guigal). Relatively light in the attack when compared to the more serious Marsanne / Rousanne blends that I am used to. No complaints from me as I am pleasantly surprised that this wine appears to be the perfect refreshment around sunset time during a hot day by the beachside (to me wine is normally a no-no in a 90°F+ outdoor environment) and it actually goes very well with the pan-fried Barramundi. Simple but pleasantly refreshing!
White
7/30/2011 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Opened at 7pm. Not decanted

Color: Pale yellow. Very young looking

Nose: Intense lemon zest, wax and minerals. Feels very young as you can sense the tinging sensation from the freshness. But after about 15 - 20 min the nose was gradually shutting down

Palate: Performing at its own level, I would not consider its overall performance to be "spectacular" (which was what I thought the 2001 Coche Dury Meursault village was a few years back). Ample fruits surrounding the smoothly crafted mid-palate, but it seems like something is missing. The wine itself doesn't seem to present any intellectual dimension that I noticed in the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 vintages of the same wine. It almost felt like it was too primary (unsophisticated) and boring. Even after 2 to 3 hours in the glass the wine doesn't seem to evolve much at all. I guess I caught it in a dumb phase. Maybe it needs a few years in the bottle but I would definitely not purchase this wine given its price tag if I were to rely on my judgement solely from this tasting.
Red
7/5/2011 - Chisato wrote:
95 points
No formal tasting notes written. Standard 75cl bottle. US label. Purchased at a local wine shop today for approximately USD180

Light ruby on the edge with a dark ruby core, the appearance of this wine is just about right for the age of the wine. I believe it has hit its drinking window. I started to drink the wine within a few minutes after opening. Absolutely gorgeous nose of ripe dark fruits, spice and even a hint of smoked meat. The nose may prove to be, dare I say, a serious challenge to many grand cru Musigny! This is the first time I have had the Amoureuses 1er cru wine. Now I am beginning to understand the hype for this vineyard. The nose is just soooo intriguing......lots of depth with a profile of perfect balance between the fruits and acidity. It is still tasting fresh yet provides ample pleasure of an opulent mature wine that will seduce the ladies AND the gentlemen in the crowd. How I wish I can share this bottle with a few friends!!!

In the mouth loads of plum, meatloaf, hickory and a hint of cinnamon. I can sense that the wine is already mature and you will not regret uncorking a bottle if you have a few in your cellar. This wine is so open and seductive, it is like a sexy girl in her early 20s seducing you with every sip you take......leaving me wondering why it took me so many years to decide on trying a bottle of Les Amoureuses. I believe in the hype now. This wine can easily rival some of the best grand crus from the Musigny appellation!

(P.S. I normally don't consume more than 2 or 3 glasses MAX in one go but this wine was so seductive that I actually finished the entire bottle within 4 hours on a weekday. I hope I can wake up on time tomorrow morning for work!)
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Red
1991 Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis Clos St. Denis Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
6/30/2011 - Chisato wrote:
94 points
I brought to the wine dinner at Cepage one day earlier. Sommelier opened it at 5:30pm and let it breathe. First poured at 9pm (Afterthought: Should have opened at 4:30pm)

This was my 2nd bottle of Dujac Clos St. Denis (the first being a 2001 which was very young but still open for drinking). Mature looking and the nose was still gradually opening up 4 hours after opening. Primary fruit was gone but all the ingredients have integrated into the wine along with its fine tannins to deliver complex flavors. Secondary nuances were abundant with loads of minerals, fig, dried rasberries and hints of honey, spice and soil. It was a very pleasant surprise that the wine was still evolving as the night developed. My experience with Burgs is that 20 yr-old wines would usually be at the tip of the drinking window that is closer to the "cliff" than the "plateau". However, I deducted some marks because this wine didn't match the roasted lamb very well (the 1997 Gaja Barolo Sperss matched the lamb perfectly) and it could not compete with the 2004 DRC Romanee St Vivant - not really a fair fight is it?

But to be fair, this wine is an excellently crafted masterpiece from Dujac and I very much enjoyed it all night long until it started to fall apart at 12:30am (7 hrs after opening). I would love to pit this wine against Dujac's 1991 Clos de la Roche.
Red
6/30/2011 - Chisato wrote:
97 points
Brought to the wine dinner at Cepage by Tony. Up against 1991 Dujac Clos St. Denis, 1999 Etienne Sauzet Chevalier Montrachet, 1997 Gaja Barolo Sperss and 1961 Chateau St. Georges. Decanted at 7:30pm by the sommelier and first poured at 9:30pm

Color: Cherry-like with a crystal-clear medium ruby core. Reminds me of a young Burg with no signs of aging

Nose: The sommelier said this was textbook DRC RSV. Laser precision tingling with your nasal sensations and the perfume was like a series of tidal waves attacking your senses. Waves and waves of strawberries, rasberries, april flowers and even a hint of cinnamon. Light on its feet but definitely feeling the power. Flirtatious like an 18 yr-old girl but knocking you silly with the attractive RSV-spice that only a DRC can deliver (I had the Leroy RSV 2 weeks ago with the same group and this was a clear step-up). WOW!!!

Palate: Medium bodied with a medley of concentrated Vosne spice. Silky tannins caressing your tongue with ripe red fruits, rasberries and lots of spice. The remarkable thing to note is the perfect balance between acidity and fruit components that DRC is famous for. This wine hits your taste buds to the point that it was mesmorizing - Otherworldly! Very feminine. The elegence is well noted with a long finish that leaves plenty of floral notes long after the wine was consumed

I kept saying to myself: How can they make wines that are so perfect in all senses? I usually am not a big fan of Romanee St Vivant but this bottle changed the way I have been thinking. I have had many examples of RSVs before, including the 1995 and 1998 DRC RSVs that I consumed recently, but this bottle belongs to another league. It more than put up a good fight with the 1991 Dujac Clos St. Denis we had during dinner, and was easily voted WOTN by the group. Bravo!
Red
9/14/2010 - Chisato wrote:
87 points
For some reason I didn't think this bottle belonged in the same league as the other DRCs I had before, which were nothing less than spectacular. The nose was open right after uncorking, with the wine showing a mature profile of amber edge and a bright ruby core. The palate was enjoyable albeit a bit too simple, lacking the complexity and pleasure one would expect from a wine of this calibre. My friends could not have disagreed more, stating that the perfume was wonderful and the wine was beautifully crafted (with the right balance of fruit and acidity), and even considered this wine one of the best RSVs they ever had. Sadly, this was the worst performance I got from a DRC label ever......(I remember how the 2000 DRC Grands Echezeaux I had a few years back blew this wine away in every single category)
Red
1979 Château Trotanoy Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/19/2011 - Chisato wrote:
87 points
A standard bottle tasted during a mini Trotanoy vertical with friends

Color shows a very mature profile of amber edge and a burgundian-like core. Cork was in good shape. Nose showed a bit of dried blood, mushroom and incense. Palate was fading out with no tannins left. Needs to be drunk within 30 minutes.
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Red
1/19/2011 - Chisato wrote:
96 points
Purchased from a local wine shop in Hong Kong and enjoyed over a 3 course black truffle meal. From a 750ml bottle. No formal tasting notes.

The sommelier accidentally broke the cork into half (or maybe it was the fact that there was mould on top of the cork before the wine was opened, and the cork simply deteriorated over time. Alas, the poor cork did its job and the wine was in perfect condition after opening. I am not complaining!)

Oh boy! This wine completely rewrote the potential a 1982 claret can deliver. I was supposed to enjoy this bottle with a friend who no less appreciates high quality Pomerols than yours truly but she couldn't make it to the dinner (A: You have missed a great life experience). Right after the wine was opened the nose was screaming with loads of complex floral, perfume and berry bouquet that attacked my nasal sensations and hit my brain cells with vigorous endeavour. The palate took about 30 minutes to pull itself together and presented a medley of spice, glycerin, herbs and mature secondary flavours that flirted with my taste buds. Shortly afterwards the nose subsided a bit, and the wine was flirting with me like an elegant sexy lady - showing me the potential of a remarkable wine without too much in-your-face action. This continued until about the 2 hour mark when the wine completely opened and put it simply, it was liquid heaven. Forgive my inadequacy with words on how to describe it but I would definitely want to purchase more bottles and enjoy them over a truffles dinner again and again......

P.S.: A, I will save 1 bottle for you and you will know what I mean once the cork is popped!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/14/2010 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
Not decanted. Purchased 6 bottles from a UK wine merchant about 3 years ago. My first bottle of this wine as I wanted to find out how it has aged

Color: With a dark orange rim and dark ruby core, the color was showing its proper age of 10+ years, but still a lot more mature than my initial expectation as I found that many 1999 Vosne Romanee 1er crus tend to be extremely young looking

Nose: Closed for business after 5 minutes in the glass. Initially the wine showed some concentrated cranberries (interesting) and rasberries, with a small hint of acid. The nose didn't begin to emerge again for at least 2.5 hours, when it showed restrained aromas of cherries and spice. Overall, the nose shows that this wine is far too young for consumption at this moment

Palate: Very closed and tannic. Small hints of cherries and dark fruits. Very primary but I can definitely appreciate the finesse and balance this wine offers. Difficult to appreciate the wine fully at this stage but it will be interesting to open another bottle in 5 years time to see how it will develop
Red
1989 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/9/2010 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
Not decanted

Color: Deep ruby core with some amber at the edge. Undermining its actual age of 21 years

Nose: Sharp and focus nose of concentrated dark berries, lead and leather. Different from other St. Emilions of its age which would showcase a much more mature Merlot bouquet. Definitely a new experience for me

Palate: This wine would definitely benefit from a 60 minute to 90 minute decant for sure. Initially restrained and showing a boatload of tannin, the high-precision attack was dominated by black fruits, mocha, cassis and leather. It took at least an hour for the wine to soften up. The wine became more open and attractive, with most of the tannins subdued after about 2 hours in the glass

This bottle can still last a few years and may still improve a bit as I don't think it has shown all of what it's got. An overall textbook mature claret that is very enjoyable when paired up with steak. Bravo!
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/8/2010 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
From a half bottle. Not decanted

Color: Dark gold, a bit of a copper tone. Mature for a 20 yr old Sauternes

Nose: Concentrated toffee, smoke and apricot jam. This is one of those Sauternes which the nose keeps you interested in trying to find out how it will evolve within the glass. With 30 minutes in the glass, notes of caramel began to emerge. I also sensed the alcoholic note in the nose. Not surprising at 14.5% alcohol

Palate: Thick and viscous, smoked apricot and honey. When left in the glass for over 30 minutes I notice the alcohol started to dominate and the wine started to lose balance, reminding us the importance of the serving temperature (guess it warmed up in the glass). A pleasant drink to enjoy now
Red
4/11/2010 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
No formal notes taken. Not decanted

Color showed some age as it was lighter than the bottle I had some 4-5 years ago. Both the nose and the palate were closed for business on the first day. On the second day the tannin subsided a bit, but the nose was still closed. Couldn't get much pleasure out of it. Way too young at this moment. Give it a good 5 years before opening the next bottle
Red
4/21/2010 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
Not decanted

Color: Slight amber edge with deep ruby core, the color shows the appropriate age of the wine (looks like a 10-15 yr old wine)

Nose: Initially a whiff of vanilla, blackberries and iodine. After 20 minutes, waves of fresh flower petals and a dose of orange peel was noted. The orange peel flavor dissipated and was replaced by cherry liquer. The bouquet was very open indeed. Beautiful!

Palate: Forward and right at the peak of its drinking window, this full bodied wine is loaded with cherries and roasted herbs. Still a wee bit tannic, it could benefit from a 30 - 45 minute decant. It should stay at this drinking window for at least 3 - 4 years without a problem. A good QPR considering it was purchased for about USD85
White
4/10/2010 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Bottle number 1343 out of 2097. Purchased at a local wine store in Hong Kong (about USD7x per bottle). Tasted over 2 days. Not decanted

Color: Light golden yellow, similar to extra virgin olive oil

Nose: Initially a concentrate breeze of subdued oil mixed with a dose of minerals, followed by wet stones and wax. On the second day, the nose did not show as well but I did note some green banana peel, wax and Granny Smith apples. Very interesting

Palate: Light on its feet, this wine opened up instantly after the first pour and I would say it is the perfect drinking window right now. Although not much of an attack, this wine showed great finesse and balance with a fair amount of apples and violet (floral) flavors. The presence of acid is just sufficient to give the wine its balance, but I would say it is time to drink up over the next 2 - 3 years

This beautiful aligote was paired with St. Nectaire AOC cheese and natural walnuts on both days. It was a good match (at least for me). The wine by itself was very appealing on a standalone basis. But on the second day the wonderful nose and flavors seemed to have lost some magnitude, and didn't stand up very well against the cheese. But what more can you ask for from an aligote? I am happy!

It would make a good day-to-day wine only if I can locate some bottles in the market!
Red
1994 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/20/2010 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
From a half bottle. Uncorked at 7:15pm at Grissini in Hong Kong. Not decanted. Riedel Burgundy stemware was used

Nose: Initially showing a wave of Pomerol spice (reminded me of a mixture between the 1994 Evangile and 1993 Lafleur), only to close down rapidly after 5 minutes in the glass. Stayed that way until the server poured in some more from the bottle - the nose showed subtle hints of black berries, rather one-dimensional. Again, the nose quickly closed down in the glass

Color: This wine from a 375ml bottle was shockingly young looking when compared to the 1994 Evangile I had from a full bottle a month or two ago. Dark ruby with an almost opaque core. No signs of amber at the edge

Palate: First tasted 5 minutes in the glass. Very tannic and closed. After 15 minutes, still tannic but very smooth. Its body showed more of a resemblence with the 1993 Lafleur (from a full bottle I tasted in 2006) with the Pomerol spice and semi-ripe black berries. I noted the increased "Merlot tannin" feeling after about an hour in the glass as the wine started to develop an angular mouthfeel and showed a boatload of tannin. Very interesting. Paired up nicely with Chef Claudio Sadler's tasting menu (especially the lobster salad!). After 2 hours and 15 minutes the wine started to open up a bit. Tannins began to subside. A mix of rose petals, black berries, ink and an unexplainable note similar to espresso/mocha/coffee beans?? (Is that the distinct Petrus flavor? It seemed different from other Bordeaux I've had over the years. Makes me feel like a humble beginner for Bordeaux wines as this was my FIRST Petrus tasting ever)

MOST importantly, I brought the almost empty bottle (with only about 10ml of the juice plus residue left in the bottle) home with the cork on top from the restaurant. Before I went to bed at 2am (7 HOURS after opening) I pulled the cork and tried to sniff the leftover juice and residue inside. OMG, what's left over in the bottle actually blew my mind - it was singing! The nose had waves of perfume and intense flower petals, more of the distinct espresso/mocha/coffee bean aroma was hitting me dead on. I cannot believe that an off-vintage in a 375ml format can not only survive for 7 hours, but actually exploded like fireworks. This was just from the few drops of leftover.

WOW! Petrus is indeed a special wine. I really need to taste this again soon. 90 for my experience during dinner, 94 from the leftover in the half bottle 7 hour after opening.
Red
2/14/2010 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Opened at 7:30pm. Not decanted

No formal notes taken. Initially the nose was slightly open with rasberries and some funk. Palate was light but was showing lots of primary fruits. Left the opened bottle alone until 10:30pm. Still not much improvement and unable to notice any degree of complexity in the palate or the finish. Was a bit disappointed overall as the wine was thinner and more or less simpler than expected
Red
2000 Le Petit Cheval St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2010 - Chisato wrote:
91 points
Purchased at GDV in Hong Kong circa 2005 / 2006 for about USD105 equivalent. Not decanted

Color: Dark purple core with dark ruby edge. Deceptively young in appearance for a second wine as it looks nowhere near its actual age

Nose: Initially showing loads of primary red fruit and berries, only to close down after about 20 minutes in the glass. After an hour, some notes of olives and black fruits began to emerge. Overall, not very impressive as I believe the wine is still too young to show its full potential in this department

Palate: Tannic during the first 20 - 25 minutes in the glass, with a mix of black fruits, blackberries and floral notes while a hint of dark tea leaves started to show after about an hour in the glass. Some caramel and coffee notes intertwined with earth was detected after about 2 hours in the glass. There was no sign of fading at all even after 2.5 hours of opening

This wine does show differently than many 2000 St. Emilions in that it delivers more dimension and complex secondary layers in the finish that made me wonder what this wine is capable of delivering in another 5 - 7 years. I suspect it is exactly this particular characteristic that would explain why its bigger sibling (the Cheval Blanc 2000) is coveted by so many wine lovers despite the stratospheric price, since the first wine should be able to deliver much more than the second wine, but only to the financially well-endowed winelovers who happen to store a few cases in their wine cellars.

As for me and my only bottle of 2000 Petit Cheval left, I will not open it until at least the year 2013
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/6/2010 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
Bottle purchased for USD109.95 + tax at a wine shop in NYC in November 2009. Not decanted. Served in the Sommelier Grand Cru Burgundy glass

Color: Pale golden yellow. Crystal clear

Nose: During the first 15 minutes, like an early teenage girl flirting - subtlety is the key, revealing a telltale bouquet of minerals, nuts and lemon. After about 20 - 25 minutes in the glass, the bouquet kept on adding stature - loads of minerals and nuts. Mesmorizing!

Palate: Initially it was restrained. You know the stuffing is there but it hasn't been able to pull itself together. After about 30 - 45 minutes, perfect balance with sufficient acidity to balance the mineral flavors and nutty citrus palate. The only slight disappointment is that the finish is a bit short (I know it isn't a fair remark, but I did subconsciously compare it against the Leroy 1er cru Meursault Goutte D'Or I had a couple of weeks ago). Nonetheless, this wine outclasses other Auxey Duresses in terms of the immensely attractive nose and the perfect balance. To be fair, I'd say only a handful of premier crus can match or beat what this wine can offer. I guess I am being too harsh in a way but I think that an Auxey Duresses from Domaine D'Auvenay can always go head to head against many premier crus and possibly even a handful of grand crus and come away as the winner.

One will appreciate the talent of a winemaker if s/he turns something ordinary into something exceptional. Given the potental of the Auxey Duresses appellation, I really appreciate the wine-making talent of Madame Lalou Bize Leroy and the late Marcel Bize (from the 1999 and 2000 vintages that I have tasted before) in the sense that they can work wonders beyond the limits that a particular appellation is supposedly capable of delivering (ie a village wine that beats many premier crus; a premier cru that can go toe-to-toe with many top grand crus)

In short, I would buy as many bottles as possible, provided that I can actually find them on the market today
Red
1/29/2010 - Chisato wrote:
86 points
Not decanted.

No formal notes taken. The color was medium ruby/dark garnet. Didn't taste until 45 minutes in the glass. Way too young and it is closed for business. Not much of a nose at all. After about 90 minutes it started to reveal itself. Loads of primary fruits but there was a distinct sulphur-like odor to the wine. In a way the palate is not really showing its reputed potential. Suggest to wait another 3 - 4 years before trying it again as I suspect I tried to wake it up from hibernation. 86 for now. Possibly higher in a few years
Red
1/31/2010 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
Not decanted.

Color: Orange tint at the edge. Garnet core. Very mature looking with the color suggesting the wine would be on its way down

Nose: Although it is very open with waves of floral notes and cherries, I was slightly disappointed as my favorite Guigal LaLa bacon nose is MIA!! (I recall a bottle of the 1986 Guigal La Mouline I had last year was loaded with gobs of bacon and meat bouquet attacking your nasal sensations)

Palate: Medium bodied with some bricking noted. Mixture of ripe berries and fruits with a hint of smoke. Quite a bit of sediments. Believe there may be the bottle variation factor impairing my judgement of this wine as I have had a much better bottle (identical bottle) 2 years ago with a friend (bought 3 bottles from a local wine shop 3 yrs ago). Still got 1 bottle left and I am saving it for next year
Red
2/1/2010 - Chisato wrote:
95 points
Standard bottle decanted and served immediately at the family dinner.

No formal notes taken but I can say that the wine was immediately ready for drinking. Ruby color with slight amber at the edge. Looks like the wine is mature and still at its peak. Harmonious bouquet of mature cab with loads of perfume and honeysuckle. Nose did not fade away in the glass even after 30 minutes. The attack has blended in with the palate quite well with a good balance of fruits and structure. Holding up very well even after 2 hours in the decanter. This wine can stay around for at least 5 years easily, but why the wait? It is hard to resist right now!
Red
1982 Château Beychevelle St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/26/2009 - Chisato wrote:
97 points
Not decanted. Brought over to the boxing day dinner with the HBC gang. Served immediately upon opening. Cork was in great condition

Color: Bright ruby core with no signs of amber at the edge. Looks relatively young given the age of the wine

Nose: A textbook nose of a mature Bordeaux. Overall a fairly complex bouquet with some lead, leather and a nose that reminds me of the 1982 Pichon Lalande I had a couple of years ago. It was an eye-opener that this wine is capable of producing a nose comparable with some super seconds and maybe even first growths from this renowned vintage

Palate: Wow! It does remind me of the 1982 Pichon Lalande on the palate - Very complex yet ultra smooth attack of blackberries and lead, followed by secondary flavors of subtle olives, black fruit juice and even traces of honeycomb found only in mature Bordeaux. This is the type of wine that many of us are chasing after. This was the runaway winner of WOTN in a flight of 6 wines voted by the HBC gang. I am grateful for tasting a better than average bottle given this vintage which is notorious for bottle variation. Bravo!
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château de Fargues Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/26/2009 - Chisato wrote:
97 points
Not decanted. Purchased in 2004 from a local wine store and brought to the boxing day dinner with the HBC gang. Served after 30 minutes of opening

Color: Golden deep yellow, looks like a perfectly mature Sauternes

Nose: Exploding with ripe peaches (reminds me of the peaches we pick at the farms during harvest season in July/August with my parents when I was a kid), oranges, succulent honey and loads of caramel. One thing that sets apart this wine from other Sauternes is that the nose had some strong scents of crème brûlée - this wine has one of the most attractive killer noses I've experienced for a Sauternes

Palate: Liquid gold! Oodles of honey and peach intermixed with citrus flavors. I was amazed by the finesse and perfect balance of acidity and the stuffing contained in the wine. Tasted a glass when paired with the foie gras. It was a match made in heaven. About an hour later it was paired with the apple tart and white truffle ice cream. It matched wonderfully with the white truffle flavored ice cream. Too bad it was my one and only bottle. I would definitely try to obtain more if possible
Red
2005 Château Puy La Rose Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/21/2009 - Chisato wrote:
85 points
Not decanted. A gift received 2 weeks ago so I don't know about the price

Dark ruby color, not overly thick but respectable and similar to a cru bourgeois. Opened with a nose of lead and slight hint of dried fruits, but rather mono-tone. Simple palate with primary fruits dominating. Solid effort as I still had 2 glasses left on Day 3 - didn't show any signs of decline. But then again not much has evolved over 48 hours as this is a wine meant for early consumption
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Filhot Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/23/2009 - Chisato wrote:
85 points
Not decanted. From a half bottle ordered during dinner with the wife at Caprice

Color: Light yellow, almost pale looking. Very young in appearance. Not terribly thick

Nose: Loads of peaches, oranges, citrus fruits, honey and honey notes. Nose started to die down a bit after say 20 - 25 minutes in the glass. Not bad

Palate: Still tasted like a young Sauternes. A bit disappointed in the texture (not as unctuous as I would expect for the 2001 vintage). Leans towards the refreshing spectrum rather than the thick and powerful side. Maybe more bottling age would help, but it isn't really in the same class as the top guys
Red
12/9/2009 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
Not decanted

Color: Dark ruby. Garnet color near the edge. Looks just about right for its age

Nose: Not much of a nose. Rather closed

Palate: Smooth and subtle attack with hints of plum, dates, olives and tree branches (yes, tree branches). Fairly tannic even after 90 minutes. Believe it can still improve but it has hit the drinking window now. Medium to full bodied. Moderate finish
White
11/26/2009 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
Not decanted

Color: Light gold. Very young looking

Nose: Nutty, oily floral aroma with traces of oak detected

Palate: Sweet caramel and some citrus flavors detected. Considering the good kick on the attack I think it is a bit lacking (in relative terms) on the mid palate department. Still not enough stuffing here and a bit mediocre on the finish. I do think this bottle has developed quite a bit when compared to the bottle I had in November 2008. The 2003 vintage is definitely not as good as the 2001 vintage as the 2001 version I had last year provided more pleasure. However, this wine may still benefit from further cellaring
Red
2004 Château L'Evangile Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/24/2009 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
From a half bottle. Not decanted

Color: Dark purple. Almost black and opaque core with extremely thick, rich legs that coaxed and draped over the glass for occer 1 minute after swirling

Nose: Inky, concentrated floral aroma of lead and charcoal. 45 minutes later, notes of subtle wood, graphite and musky cologne flavor began to emerge. Intriguing and really drew my attention into sniffing the wine more than consuming it. Very unique and serious stuff!

Palate: Tannic yet approachable. A full mouthful of herbal flavors including rosemary leaves (reminds me of Mom's Thanksgiving turkey). Palate is loaded with licorice, black fruits and ink with hints of fig. Amazingly long finish. Silky texture and a sexy wine that will surely develop into a beauty 5 to 10 years down the road

The nose beats the palate hands down at this stage in life. But I am convinced this wine will improve with bottle age. The palate will surely flex out in the bottle and catch up with the attractive nose and I would surely grab a few bottles from the local stores soon
Red
12/5/2009 - Chisato wrote:
91 points
Purchased in 2004 from a local wine shop in Hong Kong. Decanted and enjoyed over a fine dinner with family friends. The cork was in the most beautiful condition I've seen in a 20+yr old wine. Looks like it is from a brand new bottle from a 200x vintage.

Color: Ruby core and orange rim. The color is lighter than the 1981 Mouton from magnum I had earlier in the week. After a few swirls, I noticed the wine is still fairly thick with rich legs crawling down the inside of the glass

Nose: Attractive bouquet of cherries, dried fruits and leather came oozing out of the glass. Some subtle secondary bouquet of gamey notes and a hint of blood. Although the nose offers a deep contrast in style (dancing and oozing out like a seductive lady) against the younger brawnier Moutons from younger vintages (strong nose and almost knocking you off your feet type of style), for a moment its killer bouquet is really seductive and even beats some of the mature vintages of Chateau Margaux IMHO. Most fascinating!

Palate: Needed 15 minutes to open up in the glass. Still tannic after 30 minutes but gradually opening up secondary flavors of dried mint leaves, dried cherries and minerals. This wine may be the one of the most underrated Moutons in the 80s and I do believe it deserves more attention from wine lovers. Recommend to try at least once if you haven't had the opportunity to do this before. One can only wonder what this wine tastes like from larger format bottles with good provenance
Red
12/3/2009 - Chisato wrote:
89 points
A magnum bottle. Decanted at 8pm. Unfortunately the cork was drying out and sank 1 inch down when the sommelier tried to open it. Cork dropped into wine and efforts were made to salvage the wine

Color: Deep ruby with slight orangy amber at the edge, but it does not look tiring at all. Wonderful for a 28 yr old wine

Nose: Beautiful bouquet of herbs, pepper, dried fruits and lead followed by some autumn leaves and forest floor. Not at all bad for an "off" vintage. Nose gradually began to fade after about 20 - 25 minutes in the glass

Palate: Very silky and smooth on the attack. Rather light bodied at first but gradually filling up on the mid-palate and developed into a medium bodied wine after about 30 minutes of decanting. Secondary nuance of a mature bordeaux teasing your taste buds after about 45 minutes. Reminds me of what an old school mature bordeaux tastes like - subtle secondary flavors of dried fruits and plums along with a classy, sleek mouth feel. Now I am starting to appreciate magnum sized first growths from off vintages. It is worth it to look for these wines in larger formats but I would stay away from the standard sized bottles
Red
1995 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/1/2009 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Not decanted

Color: Dark ruby and younger looking than its actual age

Nose: Floral notes accompanied by perfume and a drop of iodine. Fairly closed overall as this wine has not fully blossomed at this stage of life

Palate: Rather closed. Feminine in style. Smooth attack with subtle notes of olives, leather, spice box and lead. Not much wood detected when compared to newer vintages. This wine needs at least 2 - 3 years of further cellaring
White
11/12/2009 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
This is the Vielles Vignes version of the CDP blanc. Purchased at a local wine shop (equivalent to about USD100). Not decanted

Color: Deep golden yellow. A bit of caramel tone. Looks mature

Nose:
(Day 1 - After 30 min in the glass, smell was similar to a solid 1er cru Chassagne Montrachet, only less intense. This is rather interesting as it is my first experience with white Rhone. After 60 min, notes of hazelnut, flowers and some tar. Scents of oily bouquet akin to a sexy Burgundy began to emerge - this has really caught my heart as I am a sucker for good Burg Chardonnays)
(Day 2 - Nose has subdued substantially, only a shadow of what was detected on Day 1)

Palate:
(Day 1 - Closed for business. After 60 min, still tightly-knit and unyielding. Not much of an attack at all, the mid-palate was a bit hollow. Although it is approachable, this 10 yr-old is still not very enjoyable at this stage)
(Day 2 - The wine gods must have done something overnight. There was only about 1 glass left in the bottle on Day 2 but the palate exploded like fireworks. Very oily texture with a sleek, silky mouthfeel, this full-bodied wine possesses good balance with the right amount of acidity such that freshness is maintained. This way the strong oily texture flavors do not overpower the acidity)

This wine is relatively good value for the quality but it will be best to wait at least 5 yrs, or open and come back after 24 hrs. A 92 rating at this stage, but I am confident it will merit at least a 95 a few years down the road
Red
11/6/2009 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
A half bottle (at USD86) ordered and enjoyed over a fabulous dinner with the wife at Jean-Georges in NYC. Not decanted

No formal notes taken. A young, medium to full bodied wine with a lovely nose, attractive and open mid-palate that is loaded with primary fruits including rasberries and plummy black fruits. Sexy signature Roumier notes detected on the medium finish. Goes surprisingly well with the Piemonte white truffles as the truffles highlighted the tangy sweetness on the finish. And it goes both ways too, as the wine also highlights the fragrant yet concentrated character of the white truffles as well (maybe only when the wine is at such a young age does it possess this ability, for I am guessing that a mature Chambolle may be easily overcome by the strong character of the white truffles). Very approachable and enjoyable to drink even at such a tender age. I will certainly try to acquire more if I get the chance. Bravo!
Red
11/9/2009 - Chisato wrote:
flawed
I have been opening a bottle per month since July 2009 and this is my 5th bottle out of a half dozen purchased in June 2009 in a local LCBO store in Toronto.

Sadly, the nose is flat and the palate is a mixture of intense bitterness and a touch of sourness. Somewhere along the line this bottle suffered from excessive heat damage, leaving it almost impossible to enjoy the otherwise delicious juice. Hope I'll have better luck with my last bottle in December
Red
10/10/2009 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
A half bottle shared with my sister during dinner from the Robuchon A Galera restaurant in Macau (they have a remarkable wine list that simply made me drool all over). Decanted

Color: Ruby core with dark orange rim. Attractive legs

Nose: Initially the nose showed a profile of a mature Pauillac wine - A medley of flowers, blackberries with hints of oak and lead. Vaguely similar to the 1990 Duhart Milon I had earlier in the week, only more intense. After 30 minutes in the glass, the nose started to close down and became more subtle. Too bad the nose never really revived to the initial 15-20 minutes throughout dinner

Palate: I was amazed that this wine, at 23 years of age and in the half bottle format, can still be so backward and tannic. The palate initially showed a strong attack with intense tannins masking the black fruits and lead pencil profiles. After about 45 minutes or so in the glass, the wine started to become more volatile, with tannins dominating the mid-palate. Definitely an awesome food wine as it matched perfectly with the French chicken and foie gras main course.

Starting to feel a bit astringent after an hour, but this started to mellow down substantially after about 1.5 hrs. The finish was about 20 seconds

This wine is still relatively backwards and I would like to try again in the standard bottle format in 2 - 3 years. But will the tannins ever resolve completely before the fruits fade?
Red
10/3/2009 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
From a half bottle. Not decanted.

Color: Amber at the edge, ruby core. Starting to give a mature look

Nose: Classic Pauillac nose of lead pencil, cigar box, wood and licorice. Subtle Lafite perfume throughout the 1.5 hrs in which the wine was consumed. I'd say the nose is more attractive than the palate

Palate: Opened up beautifully after 20 minutes in the glass. Classic mature Lafite flavours including tobacco and lead intermixed with wood and a bit of tar. Some leather notes detected. Easy drinking without being too complex. While it is a very attractive wine in itself, it doesn't really merit as high a score expected from a first growth. Given the price of the wine, I would say it didn't fare too well on the quality-price ratio and there are other choices in the market.
Red
9/7/2009 - Chisato wrote:
87 points
Not decanted

Color: Dark purple core, very opaque and young looking

Nose: Dominated by alcohol, tingling the nose. Strong notes of pepper. More closed than I would expect for a 10 yr old wine

Palate: Tannic and full bodied. Completely closed for business for the first 2 hours. After that, revealing traces of bell pepper, some primary fruits and still excruciatingly tannic. Second day, tannins considerably toned down. But the nose is still understated. A bit coarse on the mid palate, with notes of bitter chocolate, kirsch and olives on the finish. Definitely sensed the heat in the wine. Right now I'm not too impressed with the balance and the severe tannin but I hope this wine will come together soon
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/18/2009 - Chisato wrote:
86 points
Color: Golden hue. Not opaque at all

Nose: Offers a telltale nose of pear, citrus fruits and a bit of peach

Palate: Thick and rather unctuous on the attack, showing plenty of pear notes and good mouthfeel. Decent on the mid-palate but it was a bit short on the finish. An elegant wine with quite some time left before it starts to hit the maturity plateau. Definitely an infanticide I think.

86 points at this stage. But I'm sure the score can only get better as time goes by
Red
7/18/2009 - Chisato wrote:
92 points
Not decanted. Opened at 7:45pm and tasted approximately 1 hour after opening in the 1998 right bank vertical tasting

Nose: Mind boggling and delicious bouquet of BBQ meat

Color: Mahogany rim and garnet core

Palate: A medium-bodied wine, it offers sexy, opulent and forward body of strawberries and tropical fruits. Very feminine. After 1 hour in the glass, palate is more subtle with acid slightly dominating over the fruits. At the 3 hour mark it was a bit volatile on the finish. A decent wine overall
Red
1998 Château Troplong Mondot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/18/2009 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Decanted at 7:45pm and tasted about 2 hours later in the 1998 right bank vertical tasting with the HBC gang

Nose: Closed for business. Nothing much revealed

Color: Young with dark garnet core

Palate: Very tannic at first. Softened up considerably after 2 hours. Licorice, young black fruit and blackberries. The wine opened up at 10:45pm with much more stuffing and weight in the palate. Good primary fruits although this is somewhat interfered by the tannins. Seems like it is still pre-mature at this moment in time. Need to cellar for 3 - 4 years
Red
1998 Tertre Rôteboeuf St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/18/2009 - Chisato wrote:
91 points
Decanted at 6:45pm and tasted at 9pm in the 1998 right bank vertical tasting

Color: Ruby core, mahogany at the edge

Nose: Some bret even after over 2 hours of decanting. This was followed by a wave of sea breeze. Interesting

Palate: Loads of glycerin sweetness and smooth texture. Friend said mushroom and some cooked meat initially. Finish was about 20 seconds. The mid palate started to fade at 10:15pm

I think this wine still needs more bottle age to deliver its potential. I should try a bottle again in a year and see how it develops
Red
1998 Château Rol Valentin St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/18/2009 - Chisato wrote:
88 points
Not decanted. Opened at 7:30pm as part of the 1998 right bank vertical tasting with the HBC gang

Color: Darker than the La Conseillante, with an almost purple core and young looking

Nose: Fragrant primary floral aroma. Pleasant and gentle

Palate: Not at all heavy and light on its feet, this wine offers a smooth and elegant mid-palate while it trickles down your esophagus. It reflects the typical Saint-Émilion flavors of flowers and cherries with some spice. I could definitely sense the Merlot grape dominating the palate. This wine is not at all complex in character and offers an in-your-face hedonistic pleasure, however it does come up a bit short on the finish, which lasted between 15 to 20 seconds. This was a bit less than the La Conseillante tasted on the same evening
Red
8/16/2009 - Chisato wrote:
90 points
Not decanted. Opened at 2:15pm and not tasted until 4:15pm

Color: Deep ruby red, medium garnet rim

Nose: Highly alcoholic nose with some dried nuts. After 2 hours, pungent nose with some incense and oak. This gets more subtle and subdued in the glass as time passed

Palate: Rustic texture was apparent with a touch of sour cream, cherries, iodine and black currant. High acidity noted. The second glass from the bottle at about 5pm was different. This time it showed sweet nectar, some honey flavor on the after taste. Plums, nutmeg and herbs. Good mix in the components. Still a boatload of tannins after over 2 hours in the glass

This is the second bottle of 1998 La Conseillante I had within the past 4 weeks
Red
1999 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/28/2009 - Chisato wrote:
94 points
Not decanted.

Color: Dark ruby core. Young looking

Nose: Not much of a nose really. Closed for business pretty much

Palate: 1st tasted 30 minutes after opening. Completely closed for business. A bit thin on the palate with nothing much to give. This wine is in an awkward stage right now I told myself. I finished my 1st glass and put the bottle back into the cellar.

On the 3rd day (didn't taste it on the 2nd day as I didn't have time to), totally different animal. Nose with oak, vanilla and blackfruits with a small hint of perfume. Palate was much fuller than on the first day. Full bodied, expansive mouthfeel with ample fruits and sugar. Tannin has subsided a bit but still present. Good balance. A wonderful long haul wine. This reminds me that the best Napa Valley wines can go toe to toe with the best Bordeaux wines and clearly, Dominus is and always will be one of my favorites wines. Don't touch a bottle for another 5 years!
Red
8/26/2009 - Chisato wrote:
93 points
Not decanted. Opened at 9:45pm

Nose: Brilliantly attractive yet complex bouquet of sweet figs, honey and licorice. This was only a few minutes after opening!

Color: Dark ruby edge, almost back core. Deceptively young looking

Palate: Surprisingly open. Good concentration of subtle fruits with the tannins almost completely integrated. This is a stark contrast to the bottle I had last year, which was very young, closed, tannic and unready. An hour later, it was still relatively forward with subtle floral and decadent perfume nose. Very sexy wine which I really enjoyed. Need to get more of these as I am down to my last bottle after this one.
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